While delivering Friday sermon, a famous religious cleric somewhere in Kashmir lashed out at people using electricity illegally and without paying due bills for the stolen power.
In a viral video, while answering a question which he read out from a piece of paper, Maulana made it clear that “power theft is completely forbidden as any other misdeed in Islam.”
“Using the hot water boiled with the help of electricity that is stolen and using the same water to perform ablution (an act of washing oneself before performing prayers) will not purify you of your sins even if you consistently pray five times a day, as the source used to boil the water you used was utilized without seeking prior permission from the concerned department or without paying for the same.” Said Maulana.
“It is a sin and we all should refrain from doing so, we should use electricity judiciously and should not steal it and use it for any other purpose including boiling the water which we use to purity ourselves before entering into our mosques.” Clarified Maulana.
Power theft is the practice of stealing electrical power. Electricity utilities in Jammu and Kashmir lose crores of rupees every year to power theft.
According to Section 135 of the Electricity Act 2003, electricity theft occurs when a person taps electricity lines, tampers with electricity meters or transformers or uses a device that interferes with reading or damages equipment such as electric meters or uses electricity for purposes other than authorized.
If under the circumstances theft of electricity is detected, then the electric utility can immediately disconnect the supply of electricity.
The punishment for such offence is “three times the financial gain on account of such theft of electricity”. In case the person repeats the offence then the person is debarred from getting electricity supply for not “less than three months but may extend to two years”.
Pertinently, Under the smart metering project, 6 lakh smart/prepaid meters will be installed across Jammu and Kashmir through RECPDCL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rural Electrification Corporation under the Ministry of Power, Government of India. Currently, 2 lakh smart meters are being installed in Jammu and Srinagar under the Prime Minister’s Development Programme (PMDP).
Smart meters will bring about transparency in metering, billing and collection which will eventually reduce power losses by checking power theft and ensure quality and reliable power supply to consumers.